Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cultivating the Next Generation of Food System Leaders

CHICAGO, April 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Food Tank ( and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are excited to announce a new collaboration to help cultivate the next generation of agricultural leaders. The organizations will jointly produce research, articles, opinion editorials, columns, newsletters, social media campaigns, and webinars during the rest of this year.
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With an aging population of farmers, it's clear that agriculture needs to attract more young people. This is a global challenge: Half the farmers in the United States are 55 years of age or older, while in sub-Saharan Africa, the average age of farmers is around 60. Food Tank and IFAD ( will collaborate to raise awareness about issues faced by youth in agriculture, as well as engage the global community in dialogue around challenges such as access to markets, education, and resources for beginning farmers.
Changing youth perceptions of agriculture can potentially create lasting impact in the agricultural sector, which offers huge potential for job creation.
"As a global community, we can increase awareness of opportunities for youth in agriculture," said Cassandra Waldon, Director of Communications at IFAD.
Young people are the farmers and food system leaders of tomorrow. But according to IFAD, they are increasingly abandoning agriculture and rural areas in search of better livelihoods in cities or abroad. There is a pressing need to create opportunities for youth in agriculture.
"We have an opportunity to encourage young farmers, scientists, agronomists, business leaders, development workers, and funders to view the food system as an opportunity to improve health and nutrition, raise incomes, and protect the environment," said Danielle Nierenberg, President of Food Tank.
With their new joint communications initiative, Food Tank and IFAD will work during 2015 to showcase the role of youth in agriculture worldwide.

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